Around 24 women consisting of Local Organisers (LO), Area Organisers (AO), one trustee and some members who were representing their groups, all met at The Hilton Hotel in York for the first combined meeting organised by Natalie our National Organiser. The majority were from the North East, but some ladies had travelled over from Crewe and others from much further south in the country.
The aim of the day was to say thank you to those who volunteer to be that little bit more than a member, by either being a Local Organiser for their groups or being an Area Organiser – or in the case of Christine Harrison from Pickering, becoming a trustee of NWR in addition to being an Area Organiser.
The day started with a talk from Elaine Dowell MBE (who is also a member of the Pickering group), about how we all evolved over millions of years from hominins, which was really interesting and provoked some questions from the floor.
There was chance for everyone in the room to introduce themselves which was then followed by lunch. Quite a few of the women present at the meeting have been members of NWR for well over 30 years.
After lunch Natalie gave us a quick resume of the recent membership survey before we moved into the ‘working’ part of the day by briefly discussing the AO, LO and Events handbook that are available on the website in the ‘resources’ section, but the bulk of the discussion revolved around group size, mainly the problem of groups getting too big and what to tackle the issue if it was felt that it may become a problem. The days of members sitting on the floor during meetings seemed to be over!
I really enjoyed the day and I think it gave everyone a sense of unity and of belonging to a larger organisation. Everyone was urged to try a Day Conference if they hadn’t already done so and to think about attending the National Conference at some point as well if they could.
Julia Hamby | Area Organiser for North East